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New Orleans draft MWBE study released, open for comment

Published Mar 12, 2018

The draft of the 2018 City of New Orleans Disparity Study is available for public review and comment.

The study aims to analyze the extent to which a level playing field in competition for New Orleans city contracts exists for minority- and woman-owned businesses (MWBEs), and to make recommendations for possible areas for improvement.

The study found that while New Orleans is doing better than average at utilizing its MWBE community, much remains to be done in ensuring equity. An abstract of the study states that there "is not a level playing field for [MWBEs] in the New Orleans marketplace overall," and that these firms "do not have the same market opportunities as other companies."

The study further notes that for African-American-owned firms in particular, there is a notable disparity between utilization - at 11 percent and availability - at 27 percent.

Goods contracts, which are not subject to DBE goals, also display marked overall disparities.

The disparity study makes a number of recommendations for remedies aimed at ensuring there is a level playing field for MWBEs, including greater access to capital and bonding programs, prompt payment requirements, and advances to certified firms for contract mobilization, among other remedies. The study also notes that leveling the playing field for MWBEs will require support of the marketplace overall, including action in the private sector, and not just the action of the City in its contracts, programs, and goals.

For more information about the New Orleans Disparity Study, visit

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